Has this ever happened to you?
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No, I don’t mean having a meltdown over the condiments backstage, I mean making the decision to not sweat the small stuff (oh, and just for the record, it’s _not_ all small stuff, Dr. Carlson(with apologies to his family)).
Most of it is, however. Certainly an olive lacking a pimento stuffing is small stuff, as is snapping the derailleur, bending a spoke, and twisting the chain off my MTB last weekend when a stick jammed in the rear wheel. Missing parts for an auto repair could be big, if it results in not being able to get to work and losing your job. However, in GeWillie’s case, we know it’s not.
I’m lucky. Very lucky. I’ve had some major incidents occur this year, but nothing that could qualify as ‘big stuff’, IOW – nothing that resulted in a serious disruption. Nothing that we weren’t able to ‘absorb’.
Many others are/were not so fortunate over the past year. I’m not going to go into a long list of the good and bad over this past year, there’s plenty of that about, but I will talk about my new years’ resolution.
It’s mundane, in the grand scheme of things, to say the least. In fact, it’s not as much of a resolution as it is putting a long-term plan into action. A plan I’ve been harboring for a few years now, waiting to unleash on an un-suspecting public.
In 2012 I will turn 50 years old (no, that isn’t my resolution, dipshit). Can you remember the first time you were cognizant of a 50-year-old being 50 years old? 30 years ago, there was old, and there wasn’t. I didn’t know too many 50-year-olds, and the ones I did know weren’t very tolerant of me (with good reason, I might add). Well, now I’m that age, and I think I’m more tolerant of impetuous youth than most of the people I knew who are a generation ahead of me. That isn’t to say though, that If I were to meet a 20-year-old me I wouldn’t feel like giving me/him a bitch slap.
No, It’s not a point of me being 50, it’s a point of goals. I don’t know of anyone in my demographic who has any goals of note, but that’s understandable. When you get to the half-century mark, unless your life has serious problems, your goals are generally “lose weight”, “eat healthy”, “spend less money on porn”, etc…..not me.
I’ve been planning something _big_.....for me anyways. Ready?
When I’m 50 years old, I want to run a 5 minute mile. Just one. I already know I can run a 440 in 1:10 with a reasonable amount of training, but it was painful, and I wouldn't be able to do it twice within a few days. A couple of years ago I ran 4 – 440’s at 1:15, but that was interval training, and I needed significant recovery in between. At that time, I could break a 6 minute mile and did so in quite a few running races – that would be for like, the first mile.
Now, I know it’s a tall order. According to the USATF 2011 masters outdoor track national championships results, very few 50-55 men can run that pace, and none of the 50-55 women can. Granted, those are for a 1500 meter event, but the math is easy. A five minute mile translates into about a 4:40 1500. If I could run 5 minute mile, that would put me in the top ten nationally. So, yeah…tall order. I live next to our local high school, and their track is open to the public for all intents and purposes. It’s a good track, one of those rubberized jobs designed to drain water. As an ancillary goal, I’d also like to run a sub-30 minute 5 mile road race. That’s going to be orders of magnitude easier, since I was able to get two races in the past few years at a 6:10 pace. Trimming that to a 6:00 pace shouldn't be too hard.
I’m giving myself until September 10, 2013 to reach this goal. That’s my 51st birthday. I’ll train this year – lots of short intervals, and see where I am on September 10. Then I’ll hire a coach to get me the rest of the way. I don’t know who yet, but I’ll find someone by then.
Back to the point of this entry - sweating small stuff – Even if I don’t run a 5 minute mile by my 51st birthday, I won’t view it as a massive failure. Who knows, I may be physically unable to run a 5 minute mile. I may _never_ have been able to run a 5 minute mile. I’ll never know until I try. If I do, great. If not, it won’t be because I didn't give it an honest effort.
In the end, in the grand scheme of things, no one will really care but me. My obituary won’t read “ran a 4:59 mile on September 9, 2013”. Even if it did, I would hope people would see it as something admirable, but not something that defined me, and not the sole notable accomplishment of my life. Because it really _is_ a little thing.
But, I know you didn’t come here to read some narcissistic blather about me and my goals. You know what you came here for, and here she is…